I have officially done it; I have finished one whole week of only using the phone capability on my iPhone. This is one of my goals that I dreaded almost immediately after I wrote it down. The thought of having to give up the features on my phone that I use constantly throughout the day was unpleasant to say the least. I was putting off tackling this goal for a few months, but a week ago I decided that the best time to complete this challenge would be during my break from college for the holidays. Armed with the knowledge that this was the most convenient time to start this dreaded task, I jumped head-first into my week of expected misery.
The logistics of the challenge were simple. On the evening of Friday (12/25), I would turn off all of my notifications (except for phone calls), disconnect my texts from my iPad and computer, and prepare for a week living in what I considered to be the stone ages. Once I woke up on Saturday morning, the challenge had officially begun.
Here are some things that I learned from this challenge:
- It is a good idea to inform your friends of your decision to not receive any texts. Partway through the week I received a phone call from a friend who wondered if I had died, since I had not responded to any of his texts that week. I apologized and told him about what I was doing; afterwards realizing that I probably should have sent out a text saying that I would not be receiving anything that people sent me during the week. It was an oversight, but I am completely confident that my friends were able to survive a few days without a response from me. I comforted myself with the knowledge that if something were serious, they would be able to call me.
- I use my phone as my “safe place”. I find it funny to write “safe place” because it makes me think of a person who is a few blondes short of a Fox News broadcast rocking back and forth in a psychiatric hospital. But it is an honest description of what I use my phone for. When I am in a situation that I find uncomfortable or where I do not know many people, I will whip out my phone to browse Buzzfeed or Instagram. This way I am not required to make conversation or actually deal with the awkwardness that I am experiencing. This week showed me that I can function in social situations without using my iPhone as a safety device. I hope to apply this knowledge to my future encounters, which would help me rely more on conversation than a phone to break the ice.
- The radio is evil. I quickly learned this when I was unable to use my Spotify account to listen to music. This was my biggest “hardship” from the week because I rely so much on my phone for music. Without this access, I was forced to use the radio, and I will say that I was not a huge fan of that. It seems to me that nearly all radio stations spend their time playing the same few hit songs over and over again and about three times as much time on commercials. It is a vicious cycle, and it is one that I hope to experience as little as possible in the future. Although I can say that I now know all the lyrics to the song “Sorry” by Justin Bieber <– This proves my point that the radio is terrible.
Contrary to what I thought when I embarked on this challenge, it was not a week of misery. In fact, I even enjoyed the reprieve from my constant phone use. Even though this challenge was difficult at times, I believe that it will help me in the future, since it has given me a new perspective in that I now see how much I have overused my cell phone in the past. I hope to work on spending more time focused on the environment that I am in and the people who I am with than I do on my phone. Who knows? In the future, I may end up being one of those hipsters who chooses to carry around a typewriter and use a payphone instead of having a cell phone. Ok, that will probably never happen, but I do hope to me more self-controlled when I use my phone from now on.
If you have just begun reading my blog, be sure to check out my post titled “Twenty-One Goals as a Twenty-One Year Old” to read about the beginning of my journey to complete goals throughout the year.